May 17, 2011

The May 16 Metro article “Fight over Giant grocery in D.C. reaches epic scale” stated the obvious conclusion that upgrading the Wisconsin Avenue Giant Food store has been long delayed, but it did not provide a full explanation for the delay. In fact, Giant’s ever-expanding redevelopment proposals are a far cry from the community-sensitive institution founded 75 years ago by Samuel Lehrman, a Pennsylvania dry goods distributor, and Nehemiah Myer Cohen, a kosher butcher who immigrated to Pennsylvania from Palestine after World War I.

The dispute causing the current delay simply is not about a new supermarket. Almost everybody would welcome that. It is instead an objection to the serious overreach of Giant’s development proposal, which includes much more than just a supermarket. Giant, now owned by a corporation based in the Netherlands, intends to include a five-story apartment building in the little Wisconsin Avenue shopping area that the District’s Comprehensive Plan law mandates for primarily commercial use. The same law also sets a building height limit of no more than three stories.

By the way, although a new store will no doubt offer improved grocery shopping, more on a par with the various other nearby supermarkets, my husband and I raised four healthy and well-fed children by shopping almost exclusively at the current store.

Diane Olsson, Washington

The writer is an attorney who has voluntarily aided a group that is trying to secure modifications to the Giant Food project.

twins [2]

aratani-Thanks. This looks fine to me.

l

What a luxury for the residents of Washington’s Cleveland Park neighborhood to fight over the redesign of a Giant grocery store. Not long ago, the Safeway serving the Landover Hills area in Prince George’s County fled. Quite recently the nearby Giant packed up; the company said that the footprint was too small for its current business model.

While I’m grateful that an Aldi’s is slated to move into that location in the fall, its stores don’t accept WIC payments — a real drawback for the low-
income residents who have walked to that location for the past 30 years.

Ah, to get into a snit over whether the new Giant will maintain the historic integrity of the building it will occupy, or whether the addition of mixed-use development there would cause traffic problems. In Prince George’s, we’re facing what’s closer to a food desert rather than the glut of Cleveland Park, which has at least five supermarkets less than two miles from the Wisconsin Avenue Giant.

“The Cleveland Park community is going to have a bright new supermarket,” says Giant’s public relations office. If its residents can’t agree on that new supermarket, please send it to the Landover area. We’ll take it.

Jolene Ivey, Cheverly

The writer is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates (D-Prince George’s).

It’s me! Cell is 301-437-8394. That’s the best way to reach me. Home is 301-322-4508, although we’re enroute to NYC for our oldest son’s graduation, so no one is home.

I wouldn’t say “Annapolis,” but either Cheverly (where I live) or 47th District (where I represent).

I only submitted this to you.

Jolene Ivey

Delegate.J.Ivey@house.state.md.us, JoleneIvey@comcast.net

Delegate, District 47

301/437-8394 Jolene.Ivey@house.state.md.us

giant twins [3]

aratani-this one is fine too ..

l

Seldom do I laugh out loud when reading the morning paper. Today was different. The article about the battle over enlarging the Giant on Wisconsin Avenue said that a citizens group had petitioned to have the building declared a “historic landmark.” Really? I knew I was getting up there in years — but becoming the age of a historic landmark tickled me.

I lived in the neighborhood. I went to school at Immaculata, just up Wisconsin Avenue. I clearly remember when that Giant was built — either in 1953 or 1954, during my sophomore or junior year. Guess I’m becoming “historic.” Ouch.

Claire O’Dwyer Randall, Springfield

Mr. White, I did write the letter, Claire O’Dwyer Randall is my real name, and I didn’t submit it to any group other than the Post, per my email to your office.

Claire O’Dwyer Randall

Codrandall@aol.com 7825B HArrowgate Circle Springfield, VA 22152 703-644-1531